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6.5 wsm, please educate me.

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Unread 09-25-2005, 10:55 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,841
Re: 6.5 wsm, please educate me.


I had to build myself a 6.5 WSM as well but unlike most you are hearing about mine is for big game hunting and is chambered in the Rem XP-100 bolt action handgun. I use this for deer hunting out to 400 yards(farthest so far anyway).

It has a Lilja 1-8 twist 3 groove and it shoots the heavy match bullets extremely well but when I was doing the barrel break in I used the 120 gr Ballistic Tip and for just over 35 three shot groups at 100 yards for the break in and load development, this handguns largest three shot group measured right at .882" and well over half have been solidly under 1/2" at 100 yards.

Groups at 300 yards also hold 1/2 moa easily with this bullet loaded to a very warm but not excessively high pressured load at 3100 fps out of the 15" handgun.

To be honest, all the 6.5 WSMs I have built to date have all been handguns and all would out shoot most rifles on average out to 300 yards.

Obviously this is a very accurate round, Chris mentioned his wife kicking some rear in comp with a rifle he built for her.

Still if you are looking for high volume shooting, I would strongly recommend dropping down to the smaller capacity 6.5 rounds as you will get much better barrel life in something like a 260 Rem or 6.5-284.

All are equal in accuracy potential in my opinion, they all flat out shoot when put together properly.

If your looking more for a big game rifle, do not overlook the great 6.5-06 AI. It is only slightly behind the 264 Win Mag and nearly identical to the 6.5 WSM in ballistic performance.

Plus it will feed vastly better then the WSM or the Win Mag. IT is also EXTREMELY easy to load for and in a well built rifle it is one of the easiest chambering to shoot little groups with, even in a sporter rifle.

I am working on one as we speak so if your interested in its performance let me know and I will get you some information.

Basically it comes down to your intended use for the rifle, that will determine which way you should go in case capacity and what amount of barrel life you could accept.

Kirby Allen(50)
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

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Unread 09-26-2005, 02:52 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Idaho, of course
Posts: 49
Re: 6.5 wsm, please educate me.

I am mostly looking at long range target shooting and some "sniper/precision rifle" competitions. I am quite sure it would see use on LR rockchucks, deer, antelope etc. I have heavy LR guns for elk and such so that is not a factor.

I was strongly considering a Swede, but then I ran into Carlock at the State Sniper shoot where he won with a 260, which looked like a fine choice too. I usually shoot 308s or 300s so I am limited in experience with smaller caliber LR guns. I just want to pick some brains and perhaps not make some mistakes that others before me have made while in the learning curve.
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Unread 09-26-2005, 04:06 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: 6.5 wsm, please educate me.

I have a 260 that Chris built that I am working up loads for ... ballistically better than a 308... but I havn't had much time to play... maybe this week... I know it hardly has any recoil...
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Unread 09-26-2005, 07:26 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 313
Re: 6.5 wsm, please educate me.


If you have access to Ramshot Hunter try that powder. Start around 41gr and work up to 44gr. I had some great groups with my 260 i had chris build this weeekend at our range match. Was suppose to be 800 900 and 1000 but only got to shoot to 800 due to fog and mist. Wind was blowing 15mph straight across and that 6.5 cal bullet sliced through the wind. I am using the same load in this rifle as i did before i sent it off to chris.
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Unread 09-26-2005, 07:44 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Urich, MO
Posts: 838
Re: 6.5 wsm, please educate me.

If you want a rig for sniper matches and hunting, then a 260 or a 260 AI would be the best choices for that purpose, and fit and feed in a SA......
Chris Matthews
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Unread 09-27-2005, 06:46 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Northamptonshire England
Posts: 676
Re: 6.5 wsm, please educate me.

I'm with Wild Bill on this one, the 6.5x55 AI is a massively underated cartridge, but a superb performer.


"I meant to shoot the pike but the duck got in the way"
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